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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"


In this connection it is necessary to take note of two move-
ments of outstanding importance in this period. The one was
the organization of the educational institutions of the Empire,
and particularly those concerned with the higher learning by
successive emperors. The intervention of the emperors began
with friendly patronage, and ended by bringing education under
the control of the State. The other, which came later in time,
but was in the long run of greater significance, was the inter-
action of the pagan culture of the schools and the new view
of life represented by the Christian Church as it grew to a
position of commanding strength in the midst of the declining


Apart from an occasional vetoing of undesirable forms of
instruction, the Republic left its citizens to follow their own
devices in the education of their children, and paid no attention
to the schools. But the extension of dominion which brought
the Empire into being made a different policy necessary. The
first step was taken when Julius Caesar conferred the privilege
of the franchise on all foreign teachers of liberal studies residing
in Rome. His successor, Augustus, shared his interest in scholar-
ship and followed his example in encouraging learning. He
founded the first public libraries in Rome, and when he banished
all other foreigners from the city he allowed teachers to remain.
Succeeding emperors continued this general patronage of learning
but it was not till the reign of Vespasian (69-79) ^&t steps were
taken towards the definite organization and support of the schools.
Not only did Vespasian establish a library in the Temple of
Peace, which formed the nucleus of a school of higher learning
at a later time, but he brought some of the teachers into the
service of the State, by endowing chairs of Greek and Latin
rhetoric out of the public treasury with annual salaries of a
hundred thousand sesterces (say, 800), and by granting *' gram*
marians," rhetoricians, physicians and philosophers exemption
from certain of the ordinary civic obligations* (Quintilian, it
may be noted, was the first occupant of the Latin chair.) With
Nerva (96-98) and Trajan (98-117), the imperial benefactions